Sampling of battery waste streams

Sortbat is more than a sorting centre. It also collects meaningful data by the registration of its sorting activities and by extended sampling. We obtain insights about the market, the products we receive and the channels they come from on the basis of fact and figures.

Case study

Sampling of all Bebat's collection channels

For example, a sampling was recently carried out in all of Bebat's collection channels such as retail, schools, recycling parks, companies. What is the mix of batteries in each channel? Do we need different collection materials per channel? What is the size of the batteries collected? Based on these findings, Bebat can then formulate guidelines and implement practices to make collecting efficient and safe.

Case study

Experts on a European level

Sortbat also provided quantified input on the way in which the European target is calculated. The current target is based on the number of batteries put on the market and is set at 45%. However, this is not always realistic. This prompted Sortbat to look at which items were actually available for collection and passed out these findings to Eucobat, the European umbrella organisation for battery collection schemes. We looked at the age of the batteries when they arrived at Sortbat and when they were produced. In other words, how long does it take the battery to find its way to the sorting line?

The sampling was carried out on battery flows from Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands at the request of Eucobat. In total, over 10,000 batteries were sampled to allow us to determine the average battery age at the time of collection. The average for all batteries in our sample was 5.2 years. Our sampling analysis established that the battery lifecycle for some chemical families and in particular Li-Ion diverges significantly from the three years currently used in EU legislation. Our sampling formed the basis of Eucobat's efforts to change the current EU directive.

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